Distracted driving kills hundreds of thousands of people each year, and the worst part is that an overwhelming majority of these accidents are avoidable.
Having screaming children in the backseat is a distraction that you can’t easily avoid. However, checking your phone, or manually changing the settings on your music or GPS are dangerous distractions that should be utterly avoided while operating a vehicle.
Being stopped by the police for distracted driving – or worse, if you get in an accident – will likely lead to demerit points, a hefty fine, and an increase in auto insurance premiums.
Here are some of the top distractions drivers fall prey to and ways to avoid them:
Put The Phone Away
There are a number of researchers that believe that looking at your phone – even for just a second or two – while driving produces the same level of distraction as drunk driving. Every single year there are higher and higher rates of deaths caused by drivers distracted by their phones, especially in the younger demographics.
Prevent being enticed by your phone by putting it on silent, away from view while you drive. If you receive an important call, either use hands-free or safely find somewhere to pull over park and call them back.
Use Audio Command Options and Pre-Set Your GPS
Most modern vehicles offer options to provide audio commands to change music, make calls, and even set the GPS. Fiddling with your GPS and other controls while driving is just as bad as being on your phone. To avoid distractions from your GPS, enter your destination(s) while you are parked, and make sure they have loaded before you begin to drive. If you need to alter your route, find somewhere to safely pull over your vehicle before making any changes.
Discourage Distractions from Passengers
Whether your passengers are wanting to blast the stereo and dance, or even pulling out their phones trying to show you videos or telling you to make a funny face for a selfie, don’t let yourself get distracted by your passengers. As the driver, you are responsible for everyone’s safety and you need to make it clear that they shouldn’t tempt you with distractions.
On the positive side, having passengers in the car gives you another set of hands to make any changes to the GPS or stereo that would otherwise distract you – put them to work!
Almost all accidents caused by distracted driving are avoidable. Take your safety, and that of your passengers, seriously and take the necessary steps to avoid blatant, unnecessary distractions while driving.